Asia is the largest continent on the planet in terms of population and surface area. It covers an area of about 44 million square kilometers, which means 29.4 percent of the earth’s land area and 8.6 percent of the total area. Asia is home to just over 4.6 billion people, or more than 60 percent of the world’s population.
The name of the continent comes from the ancient Greeks who used the name of the Anatolian region. The religions of conquest are Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.
Asia is home to the world’s highest mountain in the Himalayas. Central Asia is a dry or semi-arid region, but the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia have a hot and humid climate. There is a large coniferous forest area in northern Siberia.
Surface shapes and geology
Asia is a geologically very active continent, with extensive mountains and volcanic areas. The highest mountain in Asia and the world is the Himalayas. To its north is the Tibetan Plateau, the highest plateau in the world. Indonesia has volcanic arches as well as volcanic strings in Japan and the Philippines. Asia also has the oldest bedrock in the world, especially in the Indian and Arabian Peninsulas and Siberia. Asia has 19 major streams with a length of at least 2,500 kilometers. The longest rivers are the Yangtze River, the Yellow River, the Indus, the Ganges and the Mekong.
Climate and vegetation
Asia can be divided climatically into the humid monsoon zone of South, Southeast and East Asia and dry or semi-arid Central Asia. South and Southeast Asia have a hot and humid climate. In the Himalayas and the mountains of Central Asia, winters are cold and snowy. Central Asia is a dry or semi-arid region with warm summers and cold winters. Southeast and South Asia have tropical rainforests, although most have been felled. Subtropical East Asia is partly covered by evergreen deciduous forests. Further north are the summer green deciduous forests. The Tibetan plateau is an almost lush tundra. Low-rainfall areas are covered with grasslands, and the highlands of India and Thailand have tropical grasslands. The semi-arid regions of Central Asia are temperate zone grasslands. Siberia has a large coniferous forest area taiga.
Nature and natural resources
The nature of the Asian region is very rich and there live a lot of animals that are not found elsewhere. In addition, the soil in the Asian region is rich in minerals and precious metals. Around the Gulf are the world’s most abundant petroleum deposits. China has more hydropower resources than any other country in the world, up to twice as much as Russia. In terms of coal reserves, Russia and China are among the largest in the world.
Income levels in Asian countries vary widely. There are a few very rich countries in Asia, such as Japan, and some regional financial centers, such as Hong Kong and Bahrain. Many Asian countries have industrialized in recent decades. On the other hand, Asia also includes the least developed countries, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
The majority of the Asian population lives in the monsoon zone and earns their living from agriculture. Wheat and rice cultivation is intensive in that zone. The rapid growth of the Asian population resulted in a huge need for food. As a result, the cultivated area had to be increased by the use of desert margins and other areas marginal to agriculture, as well as by deforestation. The so-called “green revolution” was a successful attempt to increase agricultural production. The use of fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the improvement of seed quality, often yielded up to three times the yield. In Asia, however, concerns have been raised about environmental problems caused by, among other things, chemicals. Pasture and wheat cultivation are Central Asian agriculture